HEALING: When something heals, it becomes healthy and normal again after a state of being broken or unwell. If you heal something such as a rift or a wound, the situation is put right so that people are friendly or happy again.
As a student, you might live a pretty busy life. Especially during exam periods, you become overloaded with stuff to cover. It is not only us. Most people living in modern society are busy. They are fed up with competition. They do not have time to choose what to do during their spare time. They just find a place to relax and to take a rest. Thus, they seek ‘Healing.’ The word ‘healing’ means to become healthy again in a physical way and to become happy again in a psychological way. Because people get exhausted with their busy daily lives, they become interested in healing themselves. This phenomenon forms ‘The Healing Trend.’ When those in their 20s were asked about what they want to do during their free time, 47 percent of them said they prefer to travel (the Statistics Korea, 2009). They want to escape from their harsh realities and get healed. Let us talk about how this healing trend started, how we can figure out if it is a fad and how it will influence our society.
▲ Healing Camp
Aspects of the Healing Trend
The concept of healing was introduced in the mid-2000s and it quickly spread throughout every aspect of society. ‘Healing Camp,’ a program which is considered a new type of a talk show was first broadcast in July 2010. Unlike other talk shows where entertainers would usually partake in chatting and joking, on Healing Camp, interviewees talk about their own stories and past achievements in comfortable places like in the woods. They also talk about their personal wounds. While listening to their sincere stories, the audience can appease and refresh their minds. Also, ‘Temple Stays,’ where people can get peace in their minds away from the competition and their rapid daily lives, are becoming increasingly popular. In 2011, the number of people partaking in the Temple Stay program increased from about 2,600 in 2002 to about 188,000. With this growing popularity of natural places, the Korea Forest Service (KFS) planned to create 34 ‘Healing Woods’ throughout the country until 2017. Surely the healing fad has begun.
This trend also affected industries in Korea. Recently, new types of industries using the word ‘healing’ were newly appeared. For instance, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is attracting customers with a ‘Healing Tour,’ which includes trekking and resting in a forest lodge. It also provides programs like camping with your family, walking alone in the woods and traveling to islands. In addition, food known to be good for your health became to be called ‘Healing Food.’ Therefore, industries related to healing food have come into the spotlight.
For the distribution industry, products relevant to fishing and herb tea have gained popularity. For example, the sales of fishing line and hooks from August to September in 2011 increased about three times more than the previous month. When it comes to sales of massage tools, herbs and aromas, they increased 1.3, 1.36 and 1.54 times more than the previous month respectively.
Furthermore, the healing trend has made noticeable achievements in the publishing industry. If you search for the word ‘healing’ on an online bookstore, you can find around 80 books published after 2001. Among them, 32 books were published this year. These books deal with psychological healing. At Kyobo Book Centre in Gwanghwamun, ‘Healing books’ are displayed separately from other books. <Things you can see when you pause> by Hyemin set a record of selling one million books in the shortest period. As well, <It is OK even if you are wandering> by Beopryun became the best-selling book. Among the top 50 best sellers at Kyobo Book Centre, there are 12 essay books. Among 12 essay books, seven books deal with healing. This shows us a distinguishable effect of a healing fad. From the 1980s to the early 2000s, the keywords of the Korean publishing industry were real estate, investment and success. Around the year 2005, the keyword changed into happiness, and from 2010, healing appeared as a more concrete concept of happiness. People’s interest changed from the problem of survival to that of happiness.
▲ Things you can see when you pause | http://bit.ly/Qp3Mzs
Problems We Might Face Due to the Healing Fad
Healing is what people long for when they are tired of the current capitalistic system and competition, to heal their minds. However, ironically people need money to get healed because the trend of healing has become industrialized. So here is a vicious cycle; you have to earn money to afford healing treatments. The Korea Intellectual Property Office said patent applications regarding healing products increased from 26 in 2008 to 86 in July 2012. One particular spa in Gangnam charges 190,000 won for 90 minutes of ‘Healing Spa.’ Three day package tours for Thailand sell at around five million won. If you are the type who enjoys following fads, without worrying about how much it costs, it surely is not a healing thing for you, but rather a poisonous one.
Another possible problem is that one might refuse to face the reality and neglect their responsibilities with self-justification. Life is based on reality and it is an on-going interaction between you and the environment around you. Therefore, you had better regain your mental security within your environment. However, some travel far away from their environment to avoid the situations they have to face. If members of society have enough time to recharge themselves and achieve good results, this healing trend will be beneficial to our society. However, disregarding your duty and pursuing easiness will have a bad effect on society. You should constantly remind yourself what the essence of healing is.
▲ A guest house at Bukchon Hanok Village | http://bit.ly/VRI9Io
Finding The Right Ways of Healing
Because healing became a fad, various ways to enjoy healing are being introduced on the Internet and in books. However, like the ways of a diet, you might not know what to believe among all the choices. The essence of healing is to achieve a better condition of your body and mind. If you do not understand the role of healing, it can harm you and the people around you. Thus, you should be well-informed of the proper ways of healing.
First, you should choose a way considering your economic capability. If you have enough money to spend, you can go where you want to go and you can eat whatever you long for. It will heal your body and soul. In case you do not have enough money, you can simply walk around the neighborhood with your family for a while. The experience of cooking what you wanted to eat at home with family members is also a great help for your ailing body and withered mind. Reading books that you like and listening to music that you enjoy are relatively simple and economical ways of healing as well. Moreover, I am sure that you might get better while talking to people you love with a glass of water, rather than an expensive herb tea. I also recommend relaxing in a guest house at Bukchon Hanok Village for those who really want to escape from their daily lives but do not want to spend a fortune. Since it is located in Seoul, you can relax and regain peace of your mind in the eco-friendly Korean-style houses.
Another easy way of healing I suggest is to carry out your duty to the fullest. It is unusual to feel happy while in a routine. However, if you do your best to accomplish your work with a sense of responsibility, you can get healed thanks to the sense of accomplishment. This is a more simple and realistic way than going far to avoid your routine and paying an arm and a leg. Finding joy and the way of healing in your everyday life means you can enjoy healing every day.
The most important thing you should keep in mind about healing is that you must not pay attention to what others do to heal themselves. You need to concentrate on yourself and find your own ways of healing which would best suit you. Even though searching for good ways of healing and traveling to refresh your mind could be good ways of healing, I am sure you will find better methods by taking your time and thinking about what you really want to do.
The healing trend truly is influencing our society. For this trend to have a positive impact on individuals and society as a whole, every individual should find appropriate ways of healing. As I mentioned above, there is no fixed answer to the appropriate way of healing since it varies from person to person. Thus, you should consider both your situation and preferences. If you make a choice considering momentary pleasure, you might feel better for a short time but it has limitations. It is temporary. Also, following what others do while ignoring what is harming your body and mind cannot heal you fundamentally. That is, you had better stick to the ways of healing that best suit your situation rather than merely follow the fad.
▲ Hongneung Arboretum | http://bit.ly/UxxW1u
Easy Ways of Healing for UOS Students
1. Hongneung Arboretum -Location: Cheonyangni-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
-Opening Hours: Weekend
Wintertime (from November to February): 10:00~16:00
Summertime (from March to October): 10:00~17:00
-Has wetland, plants in warm temperate zone and plants used medicinally
2. Baebong Mountain -Location: Behind UOS campus
-Has sports facilities and trails for walking barefoot
3. Wellness Center -Location: General Lecture and Law Institute Building
Weekdays and Saturday: 06:30~22:00
-Utility Fee: w20,000 per month
-Has various sport facilities, fitting room and shower room
-Draws for students who register at the beginning of every month
-Students can exercise here before, between and after classes